Can we be frank?  This is what an American carrier serves its coach class passengers for lunch.

It’s…chicken fat.

Another piece of chicken fat.

A third piece of chicken fat.

A fourth piece, a fifth piece, and a sixth piece.  Just to prove that I wasn’t showing the same piece of chicken fat, the picture below shows that the entire entrée was made of mostly pieces of teriyucky chicken fat.

Still hungry?

There’s buttermilk fat.

There’s sugar vegetable oil fat, in the form of a brownie.

And of course, there’s butter fat.

So there you have it – cuisine a la coach class, served in one of the premier American airlines.

After the unbelievable experience of eating United Fat, I almost cried at the sight of the ANA meal – literally the best Japanese meal I’ve ever had in my life, and to think this was a modest meal served in coach.

By the way, you might be wondering why I had so much time to take pictures of fat?

The screen monitor did not work, during this 12 hour flight.  My fellow passengers in the “extra leg-room, economy plus” section also had non-functioning TV monitors.  We all entertained ourselves one way or another.  We laughed when United gave us a coupon of compensation.  We joked: it’s probably a $20 discount towards the next flight.  The photos were taken over the time when we were flying over Siberia, where the outside temperature was -67 c.

Now the ANA meal.  First, we got chopsticks, and real silverware.  Plus a tooth pick.  A hand towel.  A napkin.  A twin pack of salt and pepper.  It’s important that a diner be prepped into a proper frame of mind to dine.

Then, you have this gorgeously wrapped around twirl of soba noodles, with shiso flavoring and plum coloring.  When you bite into it, you think, wow!  The angels are singing.  There’s a packet of seaweed and a packet of light soba dipping sauce to ensure that presentation, flavoring, culinary novelty, and texture are in balance.

And, of course, even the appetizers are like little jewels. 

The main course was 3 pieces of tender white fish, over miso rice, with little flower cut pieces of carrots and peas.  And, then for dessert:  jasmine infused mango.  Afterwards, there’s a choice of hot and cold green tea, and a bevy of other beverages.

NO ONE in Japan (or France, or any other developed country) would dare to think of serving pieces of chicken fat, buttermilk, butter, and more fat (plus a rock of a dinner roll, and some wilted iceburg lettuce) and call it a meal.

Political correctness set aside, the Japanese stewardesses on the Japanese airlines were all gorgeous and captivating.  Their hair coiffed back, skirts fitted, figures slim, scarfs tied into beautiful arrangements, they had a beautiful smile to match and pleasant personality to boot.  They were not subservient – they were more pleasant and attentive in a sweet and unobtrusive way, and they carried themselves with pride, in a way that showed that they were proud of doing their job.  When I asked one of them where they buy their facial products, she came back with a helpful note: Kose, Sekkisei series.

Politically correct, the Japanese American stewardesses on the United flight were, well, complementary to the meal served on the plane, both in looks and feel.  They were even yelling at some passengers (including me):  “No!  That’s not what I asked.  It’s a yes-or-no question!”  It was so terrible!

HOWEVER.  When I was stranded in a foreign country in the midst of running a fever, and then at the airport, I couldn’t reach ANA.  Their website didn’t work.  Good old United came through, with efficiency, efficacy, and resolve.  I was never so glad to hear from an American personnel; her name was “Candace.”  Thank goodness for corporate America, and thank goodness for the way Americans do things.  Things. Just. Work.  24/7, 365 days a year, 1 800 toll-free.  You could reach someone at customer service using your American invented smart phone.  And that’s a miracle that we take for granted.  And really, the rest of the world still thinks America is #1, and so do I – because we got the bravest, smartest, most risk tolerant people from all around the world.